Dedication of Johns Hopkins Hospital
The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland celebrated the upcoming opening of its new Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center and Sheik Zayed Tower with a dedication ceremony on April 12, 2012. The new facility, scheduled to open on May 1, 2012, includes OLIN’s designs for the Entry Court Gardens, the Western Courtyard Gardens, the Phipps Courtyard and the Little Prince Garden, which provide a welcoming and caring environment to advance the healing process.
In an interview with Architects + Artisans, Partner Susan Weiler said, “Johns Hopkins is creating a new standard of excellence for patient care and hospital design. The gardens have been designed as places of orientation, respite, rejuvenation and calm, with a visual simplicity that accentuates the aesthetic pleasures of the gardens. The newly conceived circulation pattern allowed us to keep one-third of the enormous football-field-sized site for the courtyard gardens.”
The Entry Court is designed to facilitate pedestrian safety as well as to provide ease of movement and clear views for anxious drivers. The new entrance will provide ample and efficient space for cars to drop off and pick up patients. All entrances to the hospital, including the new Adult and Pediatric Emergency Departments, are located in this area for easy patient access. Valet service will be available and parking is conveniently located across the streets in the Orleans Street Garage, which will be connected to the hospital by two pedestrian bridges. The rich and durable paving palette of bluestone, brick, quartzite and granite will provide visual continuity to the vehicular and garden spaces. This continuity helps to emphasize the patterns and colors of the paving and planting, which is also intended to be viewed from above by patients, visitors and staff.
The Western Courtyard Gardens, including the Entrance Garden, the Healing Garden and the Mediation Garden, each offer different experiences through varying forms, shapes, fragrances, colors and sounds. The unique auditory characteristics of the plantings in the Entrance Garden help mitigate the sound of local traffic by utilizing plants such as Witch-hazels, which pop their flower casings in the fall or the Moneyplant and the Japanese Snowbell, whose dried fruits and loose leaves rattle against each other.
The Healing Garden is comprised of two distinct spaces, including a geometrically shaped area with a simple sloped lawn panel framed by a seating wall and plantings of shrub roses and Lambs’ ears. The other space is a more enclosed, secret garden with substantial seating, and includes a circular planting of flowering Crabapples. Rhododendrons, Spicebush and Oakleaf Hydrangeas are under-planted with Christmas Ferns, Hayscented Ferns and Black Snakeroot.
Within its clipped Hornbeam walls, the Meditation Garden is a refuge of quiet and calm. A fountain, a small paved terrace, a grove of Paper Bark Maples and a sculptural Japanese Maple provide a sense of scale, visual interest and a meditative mood.
The Phipps Courtyard is the exterior garden for the hospital café. Adjacent to this is the Little Prince Garden, an enclosed space for children. Based on the adventures of Saint-Exupéry’s Little Prince, this garden features large and small asteroids, a few volcanoes, overhead stars and the “Birdgola,” a trellis-like structure that has a colorful flock of birds suspended from maneuverable tracks. The plants in the Little Prince Garden were selected for their unusual characteristics, textures and colors such as Franklinia, Smoketree, Sunflowers, Shooting Stars and Roses.
OLIN Team Members: Partner-In-Charge Susan Weiler, Associate Greg Burrell and Senior Landscape Architect Benjamin Monette.